Unconventional sports anime feature games that are not traditionally popular or well-known. They showcase unique offerings and introduce fresh perspectives to the genre. Further, they tend to focus more on the characters and their personal growth, rather than the sports themselves.
So, if you are tired of watching the same old anime featuring common games such as football, volleyball, and basketball, then keep reading this article and check out some of the hidden gems of the unconventional sports anime world. These will offer some unique storylines, characters, and a refreshing change of pace from the typical offerings.
5 must-watch unconventional anime: Sk8 the infinity, Yuri on Ice, and more
1) March comes in like a lion
Genre: Coming-of-age, Romance, Slice of life
Where to stream: Funimation Now, Crunchyroll, Apple TV
Number of episodes: 22
Release date: October 8, 2016
This series shows the life of a young professional shogi player named Rei Kiriyama, who is struggling with the pressures of his career and personal life. This show explores themes such as loneliness, trauma, and human connections.
Through the series, Rei forms relationships with people who support him and help him to navigate his challenges. This anime is known for its emotional storytelling, excellent character development, and beautiful animation and music.
March comes in like a Lion provides insight into Japanese culture, particularly in regard to shogi, and features a diverse cast of characters. Overall, it is a beautifully crafted anime series that is definitely worth watching.
2) Sk8 the infinity
Genre: Sports, Adventure fiction
Where to stream: Funimation, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime
Number of episodes: 12
Release date: January 10, 2021
Sk8 the Infinity is about a high school student named Reki and his friendship with a transfer student named Langa. The two become involved in skateboarding and enter into a dangerous race called “S” which tests their skills and pushes them to improve.
The show explores themes of friendship, competition, and self-expression while highlighting the importance of individuality in the sport. The characters are well-written and have distinct personalities, adding depth to the story.
This show depicts the world of skateboarding and the various subcultures within it. If you are a fan of skateboarding or just looking for something energetic and fun series to watch, then Sk8 the Infinity is definitely worth considering.
3) Yuri on Ice
Genre: Sports (figure skating), Comedy, Drama
Where to stream: Funimation, Crunchyroll, 9Anime
Number of episodes: 12
Release date: October 6, 2016
Yuri on Ice follows a Japanese figure skater named Yuuri Katsuki, who is inspired to continue skating after a crushing defeat in the Grand Prix Final. He then travels to Russia to train with a Russian champion named Victor Nikiforov. They push each other to new heights inspiring each other to become better skaters.
This series explores themes of passion, perseverance, relationships, and self-discovery. It depicts the intense physical and emotional demands of figure skating.
Yuri on Ice is a unique and emotionally powerful sports anime. The characters’ struggles with identity and self-doubt add depth to the story. The beautiful animation and music altogether create an immersive viewing experience.
4) Dance Dance Danseur
Genre: Ballet anime, drama, Romance, Slice of Life
Where to stream: Disney+, Crunchyroll, 9anime
Number of episodes: 11
Release date: April 9, 2022
Dance Dance Danseur is the story of a young boy named Junpei who aspires to become a ballroom dancer. Despite societal pressure and gender stereotypes, he enrolls in a new ballet studio after meeting the new transfer student Miyako Godai. He trains for various competitions while navigating through the challenges of being a male dancer in a female-dominated sport.
This anime explores themes of self-discovery and acceptance, highlighting the challenges that Junpei and Tomo face as they pursue their passion for dance. It also emphasizes the importance of teamwork and trust between partners.
Dance Dance Danseur is a heartwarming and inspiring anime series that celebrates the power of pursuing one’s passions, breaking down social barriers, and overcoming obstacles. All in all, this show is a must-watch.
Genre: Sports (archery), Drama
Where to stream: Crunchyroll, Hidive, Disney+
Number of episodes: 26 + 1 OVA
Release date: December 26, 2016
Tsurune follows the story of Minato Narumiya, a high school student who has lost his passion for archery due to a traumatic experience. When he joins his school’s archery club, he begins to rediscover his love for the sport and works towards overcoming his trauma.
This anime beautifully captures the art of Japanese archery and highlights the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and overcoming trauma. It also explores the impact that mental health can have on a person’s passions and goals.
Tsunure is an emotionally engaging anime series that offers a unique perspective on the art of Japanese archery. If you enjoy sports or emotional dramas or want to experience a beautiful heartwarming story then you should give it a watch
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